A Home for the Ages (and the Aging)
We plan our vacations. We plan for kids’ college expenses. We plan for retirement. However, very few of us plan for aging, especially when it comes to our homes.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of U.S. residents 65 and older will increase to nearly 73 million by 2030. Some of those Boomers will move into senior living facilities at some point, but millions will live in their own homes as long as possible. It’s never too early to consider the future in home renovation projects, according to Marty Bell, Executive Director of the National Aging in Place Council.
“Too many of us wait until we reach a health or financial crisis to plan for getting older. And yet the evidence is there that those who do accept they are going to get older and make plans in advance have a considerably better later life,” Bell said.
According to WebMD, about a third of all injuries happen in the home. Elderly adults and small children are most likely to be affected. For older adults, an injury from a home accident, including a fall, can lead to months of hospitalization, therapy, and recuperation, which can take them out of their comfort zones and away from their families.
Even making small adjustments in a home over time, such as adding stair lifts and handicapped accessible and curbless showers, can make all the difference in aging safety.
The top aging-in-place related projects completed by homeowners according to a recent HomeAdvisor Aging-in-Place report include:
• Adding a personal alert system: Personal alert systems provide necessary security in case of an emergency accident or fall. Installing a personal alarm system costs an average of $652, according to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide.
• Adding grab bars: Many accidents and falls take place in the bathroom. Homeowners may choose to add grab bars to help them safely enter and exit a bathtub or shower.
• Building a disability ramp: Adding a wheelchair ramp, at an average cost of $1,547, offers accessibility to wheelchair or walker users. Various factors go into the cost and safety of a ramp, including slope, weight specifications, landing, and materials.
• Installing a stair lift: A staircase lift can eliminate the risk of injury on one of the most dangerous parts of a home. Folks with mobility issues can access the upstairs level safely with this highly reliable added function.
Carrollton has several local contractors who can help homeowners plan renovations with aging in mind. To find a home professional in the West Georgia/East Alabama, visit HomeAdvisor.com or Angieslist.com, or feel free to contact one of our Duffey REALTORS® for their recommendations on reputable contractors in the area.